Tue. May 17th, 2022

Facebook Is Just a Place for Narcissists and Neurotics to Show Off

Everyone hates people who tend to seek attention and show off over-actively. However, I don’t understand why it’s well-tolerated on the Internet and why most of the people don’t realize that social networks, especially Facebook, have become just a place to create a fake self-image, please the ego and desperately seek attention.

What was the initial purpose of Facebook? As I know, it was just to improve the communication between schoolmates. However, after 10 years we have something a “little bit” more than just a tool to communicate with your colleagues in a school or college. And I don’t see the purpose of today’s Facebook from the mentally-healthy person’s point of view anymore. This is why.

People use Facebook to show off, not to share their life with you

Just think about the last 10-15 status updates of your Facebook friends. The majority of them are over-edited photos from fabulous vacations, expensive purchases, brags about insignificant personal achievements, such as hitting the 5-miles milestone on the Endomondo sports tracker or just an attention-seeking selfie with a banal quote that has nothing to do with that “duck face” expression.

And do you think these status updates are about sharing their life with you? So, let me ask you a question. How many times you saw these people sharing the really embarrassing moments or setbacks of their lives on Facebook? I mean, sincerely, without any intentions to get attention. The answer explains everything.

Facebook activity is closely related to narcissism and neuroticism

Recent research shows a link between your activity on Facebook and the degree to which you are a socially-disruptive person. Most of them reveal that the heaviest Facebook users are either neurotics or narcissists.

Researchers at Western Illinois University found that people who score highly on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire had more friends on Facebook and updated their status updates more regularly comparing to the ones who scored fewer. In addition to that, Eliot Panek, a psychologist at University of Michigan, describes Facebook and other social networks as a medium for narcissists to “construct and maintain a carefully considered self-image.”

However, narcissists aren’t the only heavy users of Facebook. Neurotic folks are pretty active as well. Researchers revealed that neurotics tend to upload more photos per album than anyone else. Azar Eftekhar, a Ph.D. student at the University of Wolverhampton, explains neurotics’ heavy activity on Facebook as a compensation for their offline deficiencies.

“As socially anxious individuals, they see Facebook [as] a safe place for self-expression and to compensate for their offline deficiencies,” Eftekhar explained in the interview with Live Science.

Facebook harms people’s perception of reality

During the Facebook IPO, Mark Zukerberg wrote an open letter describing Facebook’s purpose, value and social mission. In this letter, Mark stated, “People sharing more — even if just with their close friends or families — creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others.” And I completely disagree with this particular statement.

There are tons of studies that reveal the dark sides of this, as Mark Zukerberg describes, “open culture.” Due to the fact that people tend to use Facebook as a self-expression tool, they usually embellish the truth and hide the unpleasant or embarrassing aspects of their lives. As a result, we see only the bright side of others’ lives. This really harms people’s perception of reality and, sooner or later, it can lead to the jealously and the feelings of inadequacy or resentment.

Of course, I’m not talking about everyone. Some people use Facebook for really useful purposes such as initiating discussions on various relevant topics, sharing insights or just networking. However, for the majority Facebook is just a place to show off. So maybe we should leave those narcissist and neurotic folks alone there that they could finally choke from each other’s desire to seek attention.


By Dainius Runkevicius

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